CD Review: Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs “Under the Covers Vol. 3”

Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
“Under the Covers Vol. 3”
Shout Factory
Produced by: Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Singer song writers Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs are back with their 3rd installment of cover albums titled “Under The Covers Vol.3”. Like their previous two compilations which covered songs from the 60’s and 70’s the latest in the trilogy tackles the widely popular 1980’s. Produced by both Sweet and Hoffs the album is being released via Shout Factory and feature 14 tracks ranging from the obscure to the more popular of 80’s tracks.

When you hear the name Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs it’s hard not to envision the sounds of Sweet’s classic album “Girlfriend” and the countless hits Hoff has sang/played on with her former group The Bangles. Though the two are quite different it’s easy to assume they wouldn’t mix very well however the result is the exact opposite. Since the duo’s first covers album “Under the Covers Vol. 1” in 2006 the two have been steadily releasing more work together. The latest “Under the Covers Vol.3” brings the listener back to the age of stone washed denim, hyper color t-shirts and teased hair. Though Sweet and Hoff chose to cover a few more obscure tracks like R.E.M.’s “Sitting Still” and “The Bulrush” by The Bongos each track is given a fresh spin featuring bubbling pop type arrangements making the album one of those that you can throw on and kick back to while looking through your old year book.

My favorite of the 14 tracks were the renditions of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” and the always enjoyable Go-Go’s tune “Our Lips Our Sealed”. Even though both of those tracks have had their fair share of reworking by other artists these two renditions were packed with plenty of appeal. My biggest complaint about this album was again that some of the songs were a bit obscure for my liking however I certainly cannot fault the performers for wanting to do something different from an era over flowing with tons of great music.

Track Listing:
1.) Sitting Still
2.) Girls Talk
3.) Big Brown Eyes
4.) Kid
5.) Free Fallin’
6.) Save It For Later
7.) They Don’t Know
8.) The Bulrushes
9.) Our Lips Are Sealed
10.) How Soon Is Now
11.) More Than This
12.) Towers of London
13.) Killing Moon
14.) Trouble

Susanna Fournier chats about playing Zoe in Syfy’s “Being Human”

Susanna Fournier is known best for playing Zoe in Syfy’s “Being Human”.  The show recently ended its second season and is already beginning season three production shortly.  Susanna took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about her role on the show and her reflection on season two.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with season two of “Being Human”?
Susanna Fournier: I had known about the show from season 1 since it shoots in Montreal. I had read some of the scripts when they were originally casting the show then. I liked the concept and then fell in love with the humor in the writing. I knew this was a show I wanted to be a part of. When I got the breakdown for Zoe I got a really strong sense of her, and felt this was a character I could bring a lot to. I put an audition on tape and within a week was headed to Montreal for the read through.

MG: What did you like most about playing Zoe Gonzales?
SF: I like how weird she is. She’s bad at a lot of things, like any kind of social interaction with another person is a nightmare–especially flirting–she can really kill a buzz. It’s not often you get a chance on tv to play someone so obviously not cool. I love awkward humor so her deadpan approach to life is right up my alley. Yet when it comes to ghosts she’s like a whole other person with confidence, friends, and vulnerability. I liked the challenge of discovering how both of these sides of Zoe are always at play depending on who she’s with.

MG: The cast seems like a big family, was it fun working with Meagan Rath and the rest of the cast?
SF: I had a blast. The whole team is amazingly friendly. Meagan and I had the most stuff together so it was great to get to know her over the 5 months of shooting. She cracks me up and I learned so much from her. The double Sam effect of Witwer and Huntington is quite a combo–their senses of humor compliment one another so well I was sometimes amazed we got any work done cause everyone’s laughing all the time. It really is like a big family (on a really bizarro adventure).

MG: You definitely had some emotional scenes, tell us how you prepared for the role?
SF: Well my job was made a whole lot easier by the writers of Being Human. Everything on Zoe’s journey leading up to Nick’s shredding was all about her learning to open herself up to love and life and risk getting hurt. The whole season really builds up to her allowing herself to really love someone, who in her case happens to be the ghost Nick, and then he’s taken away from her. Learning to love someone and risking getting hurt is a story I can relate to, so when it came time to play out her emotional scenes with Nick I just remember about how vulnerable love makes all of us.

MG: What was your favorite episode this season?
SF: Episode 10! Again the writers totally took me by surprise with the Dream Reaper episode. We shot most of it over one very long week in studio and it began to feel like we were living the episode….trapped in the studio never to see the light of day again…since much of the action took place on the stair case we had to remove walls to shoot certain angles and then there was always the question of which layer of Sally’s consciousness we were in…the whole thing became like a really awesome puzzle we were all in. Plus it was a roller coaster for each character, the stakes were really high and everything was down to the wire. Also, who doesn’t love getting bitten by a vampire?

MG: Any word if Zoe will be back for season three?
SF: I hope so! I think she’s an extremely useful character for Sally, Aidan, and Josh. I mean with the amount of trouble those three get into they need as many people on their side as possible. Who’s gonna rescue Sally the next time she gets all Reaper on us!?

MG: What do you look for in a role when approaching a project?
SF: I definitely track my reactions about a character when I’m first reading a script. I like to see if my first impression remains the same, or if through the story unfolding, I feel differently about the character at the end. People are full of contradictions, quirks, and secrets and I’m interested in playing characters that are written as complexly as humans are. I like to be surprised by a role and I like to risk playing a character I might not at first see myself as. Of course super powers or sword fighting are big draws for me…

MG: What else do you currently have in the works?
SF: I’m also a writer and am developing three new plays at the same time right now (insanity) with theatre companies in Toronto. I’ve also been directing a theatre project with grade 8 students dramatizing the lives and words of famous figures in social justice–it’s an amazing thing to introduce young people to acting and performance and watch them come out of their shells. Most recently I finished an exploratory workshop of Chekhov’s “The Seagull”–it was great to get back onstage again after a year of television and film!